Thomas Partey was brilliant, now he’s not, and could be among eight Arsenal players shown the door this summer, while Bayern want a Man City star they surely have no hope of landing…
NO PARTEY? NO PROBLEM
Mikel Arteta looks set to be ruthless in a summer clearout at Arsenal, with as many as eight players potentially being moved on as the Spaniard’s evolution of the Gunners begins.
Whether they bottled the title race or not, Arsenal are ahead of where anyone would have thought them to be, comfortably finishing second in the Premier League having missed out on Champions League football last season.
But Arteta and director Edu won’t rest on their laurels this summer, with top-quality players heavily linked with a move to the Emirates.
‘Apple of Arteta’s eye’ Declan Rice remains their top midfield target according to Mirror, though reports suggest West Ham want significantly more than Arsenal are willing to offer, around £100m.
Joao Cancelo, who has spent the second half of the season on loan at Bayern Munich, has also been earmarked as an option by Arteta after the Portuguese full-back’s fall out with Pep Guardiola, but won’t come cheap, with a £61m price tag mooted.
Man City teammate Ilkay Gundogan is also of interest to Arteta, and is available on a free transfer.
Leicester’s James Maddison, who could be available for a cut price fee this summer should his side be relegated, is also said to be on their radar, while Crystal Palace star Marc Guehi is seen as their top option to provide cover for William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes at centre-back.
In order to afford such recruits, though it’s unlikely they will land all five of them, Arsenal will need to recoup some cash through player sales, and Mirror reckon as many as eight could be on their way out.
Granit Xhaka looks likely to be on his way to Bayer Leverkusen, Newcastle want Kieran Tierney, while Rob Holding, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Folarin Balogun and Emile Smith Rowe are also set to be up for grabs, with Reiss Nelson available on a free transfer.
But the most high-profile departure could be Thomas Partey, whose form has dropped significantly after a flying start to the season. He’s Arsenal’s chief bottler.
It’s claimed two unnamed clubs in Serie A are interested in signing the Ghanaian.
ALVAREZ TO BAYERN?
Bayern Munich have two top targets this summer claim Bild – Manchester City star Julian Alvarez and Juventus free agent Adrien Rabiot.
Alvarez has had quite the year, moving to City before winning the World Cup, then the Premier League and is very much on course for a treble.
He’s played second fiddle to Erling Haaland for much of the season, so could potentially want a move away to play more regular first-team football, but it feels incredibly unlikely that Pep Guardiola would sanction his departure.
Rabiot is a more viable option as he looks set to leave Juventus at the end of his contract, but the Bundesliga side will face stiff competition for his signature, perhaps from Manchester United most of all.
FERGIE IN 2024
Manchester United are aware of the “big mistake” they made with regards to Brighton’s Evan Ferguson.
‘Sky Sports News has been told Manchester United’s academy director Nick Cox recently labelled the teenager a “£50m-plus mistake” after the club failed to secure him on youth terms during a trial, meaning they would have to fork out a substantial fee for him in the future.
‘Brighton believe if Ferguson continues his trajectory he can turn into a £100m player, a view echoed by at least two European sporting directors, one of whom likened the variety in the Republic of Ireland international’s game to Harry Kane.’
Slightly weirdly, rather than remedying that mistake now, United will wait a further year, presumably with his price tag to rise closer to that £100m mark, before making a move, Sky Sports add.
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